Different sleep patterns have been noticed in different age groups. 55 year old Carol Gee had the habit of going to sleep at 4 am when she reached that age. But once she reached the menopause stage, that had become her new wake-up time. Gee who is now 68 years old said, “I would go to sleep and wake up every morning around the same time, almost like you set the clock”.
Carol Gee is not the only adult to have experienced such a big shift in her sleep cycles. In 2017, a national poll was conducted by the University of Michigan and it was found that 46 percent of adults who are 65 years old and older have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis. As people age, the body undergoes changes in many sorts of predictable ways. Some of the changes includes stiffening of joints, slowing down of the brain, wounds take longer to heal and sleep patterns shift as well.
Michael V. Vitiello, a psychologist at the University of Washington who specializes in sleep in aging has said that this can come as news to many. Some of the most noticeable and the most aggravating changes are how sleep and wake-up times change and sleep gets lighter which happens in the middle age. The most common kind of shift is the tendency to rise with or before the birds. The researchers call it as the circadian rhythm and in common’ man’s language it is called as morningness and have found that it tends to happen as people’s preferred bed times skews earlier with age.
Vitiello said, that the scientists have documented the changes in the circadian rhythms that occur with aging but they are still learning why they occur. The stages and depth of sleep patterns also changes with age. Older adults take longer to fall asleep and they wake up more often.
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